Moments of need + employee journey mapping for learning technology evaluation

This is the third and final (and very belated) post in a series on how I used employee journey mapping to assess the current landscape of a learning & performance problem….

This post is inspired by Michelle Ocker’s work on using Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson’s ‘Five Moments of Need’ to map and evaluate a range of learning technologies.

The ‘Five Moments of Need’ are:

  1. New: Learning something for the first time
  2. More: Expanding knowledge of what has been learned.
  3. Apply: Acting upon what has been learned. This can include planning, remembering, or adapting.
  4. Solve: Using knowledge to solve a problem in a situation when something didn’t work out as expected.
  5. Change: Needing to learn a new way of doing something. This requires giving up practices that are comfortable for practices that are new and unknown.

Mosher and Gottfredson, via Michelle Ocker’s post.

I decided to experiment with this idea by overlaying the ‘moments of need’ on the employee experience map I had developed. I then mapped the current and potential learning & performance support technologies and resources available to bus drivers to each ‘moment of need’, within the first 12 months of the new employee journey.

This is the result:

Map of existing and potential learning technologies and resources to support new bus driver trainee performance across their employee journey based on ‘moment of need’ (New, More, Apply, Solve).

Note that I only have the first four ‘moments of need’ in Mosher and Gottfredson’s model mapped against this employee journey map:

  1. New – learning for the first time. Here, resources like videos, simulations, talking or hearing from new and experienced drivers can help trainees prepare for the experience of driving, prior to getting into the cab.
  2. More – expanding knowledge of what has been learned – e.g. off-job support resources like driving VR / simulations, route-learning tools, reflective learning journals, combined with on-job coaching, plus actual on-road practical driving experience as they drive for the first time, both accompanied and on their own, helps support the consolidation of knowledge gained from initial practical driving experience; and helps to improve on-road confidence and driving performance.
  3. Apply – acting on what has been learned. This would be largely on-road, in-context, embedded performance supports and tools – e.g. GPS navigation tools, in-cabin displays, on-street route markers, as new drivers start creating mental models of their routes to memory, there will be decreasing need for off-job route learning resources and tools; in-context support tools which can serve as mnemonic triggers, reminders or flags during driving will likely be more valuable.
  4. Solve – using knowledge (or tools) to solve problems when things go wrong, or the unexpected occurs – this is a daily occurrence driving on Sydney’s busy city roads (e.g. due to roadwork, diversions, accidents, emergencies, traffic delays…); and the support to help drivers solve problems in these situations are primarily other people in the transport network who they can radio for help, advice, or direction.

The reason I didn’t map the 5th ‘moment of need’ – “Change” (needing to learn a new way of doing something, or adjusting existing practices), within the initial 12 months of the employee journey, is because I expect it will primarily come into play beyond the first 12 months of the new employee journey; as drivers transition from ‘new trainee’ and undertake increasing formal ongoing assessments of competency; get transferred to other depots (and thus need to learn new routes); and/or may need to adapt to new policy, procedural, or regulatory changes that impact operations.

What I found useful

There were many aspects this exercise I found useful, and would recommend it for the following reasons:

  • Using the ‘moments of need’ as a framework for identifying the types of tools, technology, and support resources most appropriate for supporting those needs forces you to consider how those tools would be used in context, by the employee. This gets you thinking about tools, technologies, and resources in a very human/people-centred way; rather than simply as a bright, shiny object that must and will be useful in its own right (simply because it IS a bright shiny new tool or technology – a trap that is easy to fall into; and that stakeholders or sponsors are often pushing you towards).
  • Overlaying these ‘moments of need’, and the associated tools / tech / resources against an employee or customer journey map provides a useful temporal association – not only can you see what the tools will support employees to do; but at what point in their journey different tools may play significant roles in easing pain points in the employee journey. This can then facilitate practical execution of the support strategy – e.g. staggering the creation of product roadmaps for the design & development of support tools, tech and resources.

References & additional resources

Five Moments of Need and Learning Technologies, Michelle Ockers

Are You Meeting All Five Moments of Learning Need?, Conrad Gottfredson, Bob Mosher

Conrad Gottfredson on Meeting Moments of Learning Need, Pamela Hogle (Learning Solutions Magazine)

One thought on “Moments of need + employee journey mapping for learning technology evaluation

  1. Michelle Ockers says:

    So nice to see how you’ve applied the Five Moments of Learning Need to support the bus driver’s journey map. I really appreciate how our work with some of these tools and approaches has intertwined. Inspired in part by your work on employee journey mapping I’m currently doing a proof of concept on career journey mapping for women leaders in sport which I did an initial post about earlier this year. The work is progressing – survey is out right now. Will share an update later this year and let you know when I post it. https://michelleockers.com/2020/12/29/creating-career-journey-maps/

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